Giovanni Battista Piranesi: Etching of a Columbarium

Illustration

Francesca Santoro L'hoir
by
published on 19 October 2014

Although the title under this etching reads "camera sepolcrale inventata"—imaginary sepulchral chamber—it is likely based on the great columbaria for the slaves of Livia and Augustus, which, we know from other etchings, Piranesi did see (Ignoring the statuary, sphinx, and the poor man's tile graves in the foreground). The treasure hunters looting this imaginary columbarium are also evident in other etchings of the time.



About the Author

Francesca Santoro L'hoir
I am a former college professor and Fellow of the American Academy in Rome, 1997.

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